Religion news and notes
- Centre Congregational Church
All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ at 193 Main St. This Sunday, at 10 a.m., Rev. Bert Marshall leads the worship service on the Reign of Christ; Rev. Bert's meditation is titled The Peoples' Republic of Heaven, based on Matthew 25:1-46. Nursery care is provided for infants and toddlers during the worship service, and an adult study group meets at 9 a.m. in the library. Centre's annual Holiday Fair is Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. FOMAG's Messiah Sing follows in the sanctuary at 1 p.m. December's Moment for Peace is Friday, Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Loaves and Fishes serves a free community meal each Tuesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Memorial Hall. For further information, call the church office at 802-254-4730 or check our website at www.centrechurchvt.org.
- St. Michael's Episcopal Church
Area toddlers, children and teens are welcome to join a Vermont-style Christmas pageant at St. Michael's Episcopal Church on Bradley Avenue in Brattleboro. The first gathering of pageanteers is this Sunday from 9 to 10 a.m. at the church. Rehearsals will be Sundays Dec. 3, 10 and 17 with a dress rehearsal at 4 p.m. on Dec. 23. Several years ago, youth of the parish expressed a wish to make the pageant more personal to them as Vermonters; thus St. Michael's Episcopal has seen different twists each year from the entrance of a live goat to the delivery of apple pie and gilfeather turnips; from gifts of cheddar cheese and maple syrup to flocks of free-range angels. The pageant boasts a host of favorite carols of the season and concludes with celebration of the Eucharist. St. Michael's doors are open to all. For more information, contact pageant director Annie Landenberger at email@example.com or St. Michael's Episcopal at 802-254-6048.
- Christian Science Church
Holding to the spiritual glow of giving thanks, we turn our thoughts now to the advent of Christ. How can people maintain a spiritual focus as they navigate through a plethora of worldly approaches to this sacred season? This week's sermon brings out the spiritual wisdom that helps people keep their thoughts and lives attuned to the spiritual journey of accepting and following Christ. Sunday worship is at 10:45 a.m. Starting January 2018, Sunday services will be held at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday meetings at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend, and to bring children and teens to Sunday School at the same hour. First Church of Christ, Scientist is located at 57 Putney Rd. Call 802-254-5117 for more information.
- East Dover Baptist Church
East Dover Baptist Church welcomes you to their worship service and activities. The worship service is at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. We have a blend of traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs. Pastor Robert McIntyre will begin his Christmas sermons this week. His sermon is titled "RSVP Shepherds," taken from Luke 2:1-20. The church is located at 34 Dover Hill Rd. in East Dover. For more information, call 802-348-6366 or visit www.eastdoverbaptistchurch.org.
- Dummerston Congregational Church
Services at Dummerston Congregational Church begin at 10 a.m. with Rev. Shawn Bracebridge speaking on the topic "Not Just For Christmas." Scripture for this service is Psalm 98, and will be read by Deacon Emeritus Winnie Vogt. Children will begin the service in the sanctuary with their parents then will go downstairs to their respective meeting areas for Sunday School following the Children's Story. Upcoming events this week include Crafters meeting Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church. Greeters for the month of December are Sallie May and Cindy Wilcox. Next Sunday, Dec. 3, is Communion Sunday. The Deacon's Fund offering will be used to purchase gloves, mittens, socks, scarves, etc. for the Drop In Center (Groundworks). The Mitten Christmas Tree will be located in the rear of the Sanctuary, and all are welcome to bring purchased or home-made scarves, mittens, gloves, etc. to place on it during December. Next week there will be an insert in the Sunday bulletin regarding the DWA Christmas Poinsettias. Dummerston Congregational Church is an open and affirming and Green Justice Congregation. All are welcome to attend.
- Baha'is of Windham County
Baha'is in Windham County will be celebrating the Day of the Covenant today in West Dummerston at 3 p.m. From the earliest times in recorded history there has been an agreement between God and religious communities that recognizes mutual trust and commitment. `Abdu'l-Baha, son of Baha'u'llah, Prophet/Founder of the Baha'i Faith, explains that "In the terminology of the Holy Books, the church has been called the house of the covenant for the reason that the church is a place where people of different thoughts and divergent tendencies — where all races and nations — may come together in a covenant of permanent fellowship. In the temple of the Lord, in the house of God, man must be submissive to God. He must enter into a covenant with his Lord in order that he shall obey the divine commands and become unified with his fellowman. He must not consider divergence of races nor difference of nationalities; he must not view variation in denomination and creed, nor should he take into account the differing degrees of thoughts; nay, rather, he should look upon all as mankind and realize that all must become united and agreed. He must recognize all as one family, one race, one native land; he must see all as the servants of one God, dwelling beneath the shelter of His mercy. The purport of this is that the church is a collective center. Temples are symbols of the reality and divinity of God — the collective center of mankind. Consider how within a temple every race and people is seen and represented — all in the presence of the Lord, covenanting together in a covenant of love and fellowship, all offering the same melody, prayer and supplication to God. Therefore, it is evident that the church is a collective center for mankind. For this reason there have been churches and temples in all the divine religions; but the real Collective Centers are the Manifestations of God, of Whom the church or temple is a symbol and expression. That is to say, the Manifestation of God is the real divine temple and Collective Center of which the outer church is but a symbol. For information about the Baha'i Faith and for directions to the meeting call 802-254-2115 or visit www.bahai.us.
- Guilford Community Church
The popularity of the "crankie" theatre rose just about the same time the Guilford Community Church was built on a hill in Guilford Center in 1767, so it was a fun challenge for church members to see if a bit of early church history could be told with just such a panorama. Carole Crompton and Jan Drechsler added poetry and music to two such panoramas and the moment was magic on Oct. 15 when the full history was put to song. Tomorrow at the 10 a.m. worship service a slightly shortened version of the 250-year history will help celebrate "Reign of Christ" Sunday and the culmination of the year long celebration. A cohort of musicians will add accompaniment to the songs and the choir under the direction of Peter Amidon will add their voices and lead the congregation in s a service of song and story. Midway through the service the children will adjourn to begin rehearsal of the Christmas pageant to be held on Dec. 17. Everyone is welcome. Guilford Community Church, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, is fully handicapped accessible and committed to providing hearing assistance and ASL interpretation, if given notice ahead. The church is located one mile south of Exit 1 on Route 5 just in back of the Guilford Country Store. For more information, call 802-257-2776, check the website at www.guilfordchurch.org or find "Guilford Community Church" on Facebook.Our services are also being filmed and can be found on BCTV Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. and Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. or anytime online at www.brattleborotv.org.
- Brattleboro Area Jewish Community
The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community generally holds Shabbat services on the first three Saturday mornings and the fourth Friday night each month (subject to change). Led by Cantor Kate Judd, Saturday morning services begin at 10 at the synagogue at 151 Greenleaf St. Services are followed by light refreshments. There are no services for the remainder of November, but services will resume on Dec. 2, when the Torah portion, Vayashev, begins the story of Joseph and his brothers; the story continues in Miketz, on the following Saturday (Dec. 9). There is no Friday night service in December but there is a community Chanukah party on Dec. 15, starting at 5 p.m. with an hour of study and story followed at 6 p.m. by candle-lighting, holiday foods, dreidel games, and music. All are invited to attend to learn, eat, sing, dance, play, and shmooze. Services are conducted in English and Hebrew. The Hebrew is translated, transliterated, and interpreted in the prayer book, so the service is accessible to all, and all are welcome to attend. Hebrew school meets on the first three Sunday afternoons in December for youngsters 7 to 13. Tot Shabbat, for younger children, meets at 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month. Visit www.bajcvermont.org or call 802-257-1959 for more information.
- All Souls Church
All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. Join Rev. Shayna Appel for the following exploration: "You Want Us To Do What?" Five loaves of bread, two dead (and presumably smelly) fish ... 5,000 fed. That's the story according to all three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Today, most of us are likely to dismiss this story as a tale, folklore or propaganda. But if we do, we just might miss one of the most fascinating transformations of the. Masses from an attitude of poverty to abundance ever experienced. What does this story have to teach us in our own time and place about abundance and how we can serve one another. A ll Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. All Souls is located at 29 South St. across the road and up from the West Brattleboro Fire Station and village green. For more information or directions, call the office at 802-254-9377, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ascvt.org.
- The lighting of the Winchester Creche will be held the first Sunday in Advent, on Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m. The Creche is located on the hill next to the Center Church (brick church). Clergy from local churches will participate in the program as well as members of the Winchester Town Band. We invite everyone to come and be a part of this holiday event. The Creche is maintained by the Winchester Woman's Club by funds raised at their annual Turkey Dinner held in February.
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